Nick Percat has claimed an unexpected win in the second Supercars Championship race at Sydney Motorsport Park. It was the Brad Jones Racing driver’s second career victory in his 200th race start, with the Adelaide driver denying Jamie Whincup a milestone win in his 500th race.
The pair was locked in an exciting battle for much of Sunday’s first of two 32-lap races, with Whincup leading from pole early on before being caught by Percat before their compulsory pit stops.
Percat peeled into the pits on Lap 14 and his crew opted to change all four tyres; Whincup pitted in response a lap later to fend off a potential undercut and took the quicker option of changing just the two right-hand side tyres.
It initially paid off for Whincup who emerged ahead of Percat, but the latter’s superior grip meant he was quickly all over the back of the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver.
On Lap 22, Percat made a neat pass down the inside of Turn 4 to claim the lead and quickly pulled clear to secure victory by 3.1 seconds. It was Percat’s first win since his shock victory at the rain-hit Adelaide 500 for the backmarker Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport outfit in 2016, with the result also marking the first victory for Brad Jones Racing at Winton in the same year.
Championship leader Scott McLaughlin came out on top of a thrilling four-way scrap with Chaz Mostert, David Reynolds and Cam Waters to secure the final spot on the podium and consolidate his lead in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
The DJR Team Penske driver started the race on older tyres and initially lost ground through the first stint, but he came alive after his pit stop and clawed his way onto the back of the battling trio in the final laps.
Reynolds (Erebus Motorsport) finished fifth behind Mostert’s WAU Holden, while Waters’ Tickford Racing Ford fell to sixth after initially running in third place. He was almost overtaken by a charging Shane van Gisbergen, who opted for a similar tyre strategy to McLaughlin that cost him early in the race as he struggled on worn tyres.
Mark Winterbottom (CS Racing Holden), James Courtney (Tickford Racing Ford) and Andre Heimgartner (Kelly Racing Ford) rounded out the top ten.
The weekend’s third and final race takes place at 14:35 local time (GMT +10), with McLaughlin starting from pole position.
|2020 Australian Supercars Championship Sydney SuperSprint – Race 8 Final Classification (32 laps)|
|1.||Nick Percat||Dunlop Super Dealer Racing||50:14.125|
|2.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 3.181|
|3.||Scott McLaughlin||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 16.446|
|4.||Chaz Mostert||Mobil 1 TM Appliances||+ 19.768|
|5.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing||+ 21.962|
|6.||Cameron Waters||Monster Energy Racing||+ 23.046|
|7.||Shane van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||+ 23.502|
|8.||Mark Winterbottom||IRWIN Racing||+ 24.372|
|9.||James Courtney||Boost Mobile Racing||+ 28.983|
|10.||Andre Heimgartner||NED Whisky Racing||+ 33.569|
|11.||Scott Pye||DEWALT Racing||+ 37.595|
|12.||Anton de Pasquale||Penrite Racing||+ 38.526|
|13.||Lee Holdsworth||Truck Assist Racing||+ 39.181|
|14.||Jack Le Brocq||Supercheap Auto Racing||+ 39.361|
|15.||Fabian Coulthard||Shell V-Power Racing Team||+ 43.011|
|16.||Macauley Jones||Team CoolDrive||+ 49.857|
|17.||Alex Davison||Local Legends Racing||+ 53.312|
|18.||Todd Hazelwood||Brut Military Grade||+ 54.059|
|19.||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||+ 56.801|
|20.||Bryce Fullwood||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||+ 57.581|
|21.||Garry Jacobson||Yellow Cover Racing||+ 1:00.121|
|22.||Chris Pither||Team SYDNEY||+ 1:05.837|
|23.||Jack Smith||SCT Motor Sports||+ 1:13.796|
|24.||Jake Kostecki||UNIT Racing||1 lap behind|
- To be advised
Image via Brad Jones Racing
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